Headaches, with their characteristic
pain or throbbing sensation in the head, are an extremely common complaint,
experienced by almost everyone at some time or other. Occasionally, they are a
symptom of an underlying disorder, but, if they occur on their own, developing
gradually and clearing up with no side-effects, the probability is that they
are totally harmless, apart from the discomfort they cause. Probably the
commonest form of headache is caused by tension, from the contraction of the
muscles of the neck, shoulders and scalp. The second commonest is the result of
the swelling of local blood vessels. There can be many contributing factors.
These range from stress, sleeplessness and drinking and eating too much, to
noise and stuffy rooms, but, insofar as tension headaches are concerned, one of
the commonest causes is poor posture. The muscles of the neck become tense and
sore because they have to support the considerable weight of the head in an
awkward position. Another common cause is eye strain. This can be due to the
simple need for glasses. If headaches persist, it is as well to go to an
optician for a check-up, and to work in a good light.